Fat gives nanoparticles a fighting chance

July 27, 2012 By Victoria Hollick
The particles consist of a drug encased in a lipid 'fat'.

(Phys.org) -- Inhalable and thermo-responsive, fat-encased nanoparticles have been developed by researchers at the University of Sydney as possible treatment for lung cancer.

The team has recently designed inhalable, targetable particles that can attack tumours but leave healthy cells undamaged, reducing the side effects of .

The particles consist of a drug encased in a lipid 'fat' that can be activated using a .

"When exposed to a magnetic field, the encased super paramagnetic vibrate, melting the fat and releasing the drug," said research leader Dr. Wojciech Chrzanowski and lecturer in pharmaceutics at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

"The system we have developed addresses one of the most important problems related to the side effects of cancer , such as undesired interactions with healthy tissues. Since the drug is hidden in a lipid structure until it reaches the target site the healthy cells are protected," says Dr. Chrzanowski.

"We are able to trigger the drug release because our formulation is thermo-sensitive. External stimulus, in our case the , induces the increase in local temperature within the particles which activates the drug release," he says.

"Under the microscope the external electromagnetic field appears to shake the super paramagnetic nanoparticles in the formulation, producing heat that then breaks open the particles releasing the drug at the tumour site.

"Because the formulation includes superparamagnetic particles we are also able to guide the particles to specific sites using magnets."

Associate Professor Paul Young, newly appointed Head of Respiratory Technology at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, says this will provide the opportunity to translate basic bench-particle engineering research into the clinic.

"Our system holds great potential not only as an inhalable formulation but for a wide range of applications where targeting and externally stimulating or triggering drug release is critical.

"The important feature of the system is its ability to 'exploit' the temperature sensitivity of the formulation, so the drug release can be achieved at different temperatures. This is particularly important for multidrug delivery where different active compounds could be released at different times."

The team says another important feature of the drug delivery system is its 'environmentally green' approach which does not use organic solvents, making it easier to manufacture.

Each year kills more than one million people worldwide and accounts for more male deaths than any other form of cancer.

Explore further: Remote Magnetic Field Triggers Nanoparticle Drug Release

Related Stories

Remote Magnetic Field Triggers Nanoparticle Drug Release

November 8, 2007

Magnetic nanoparticles heated by a remote magnetic field have the potential to release multiple anticancer drugs on demand at the site of a tumor, according to a study published in the journal Advanced Materials. Moreover, ...

Magnetic nanoparticles: Suitable for cancer therapy?

May 28, 2008

A measuring procedure developed in the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) can help to investigate in some detail the behaviour of magnetic nanoparticles which are used for cancer therapy.

Gold nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery

December 30, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using tiny gold particles and infrared light, MIT researchers have developed a drug-delivery system that allows multiple drugs to be released in a controlled fashion.

Recommended for you

A new way to make higher quality bilayer graphene

February 8, 2016

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from institutions in the U.S., Korea and China has developed a new way to make bilayer graphene that is higher in quality than that produced through any other known process. ...

Graphene is strong, but is it tough?

February 4, 2016

Graphene, a material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, has been touted as the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel, lighter than paper, and with extraordinary mechanical and electrical ...

Nanoparticle ink could combat counterfeiting

February 5, 2016

(Phys.org)—Researchers have demonstrated that transparent ink containing gold, silver, and magnetic nanoparticles can be easily screen-printed onto various types of paper, with the nanoparticles being so small that they ...

Tiniest spin devices becoming more stable

February 3, 2016

(Phys.org)—In 2011, the research group of Roland Wiesendanger, Physics Professor at the University of Hamburg in Germany, fabricated a spin-based logic device using the spins of single atoms, a feat that represents the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.